Apple won't let EFF release a DRM-free app

EFF has released its mobile app to help people join in important, timely struggles, but you can't get it for your Iphone or Ipad, because Apple insists that EFF use DRM, and this is contrary to everything it stands for.

In a petition, EFF calls out Apple's incredibly abusive, one-sided developer "agreement" and calls on developers and Apple users to join a campaign to get Apple to give developers the freedom to release their creations on more liberal terms.

This is usually where a vocal segment of Apple defenders chime in and say, "If you don't like it, don't make Apple software." Of course, that's exactly what EFF has done. But human beings' relations with corporations are not limited to opening or closing our wallets. A critical piece of how markets work is through pressure brought to bear by public interest groups and their supporters.

It's indefensible for Apple to insist that creators allow it to add its proprietary DRM to other people's creative work against those peoples' wishes. Remember: any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and won't give you the key, that lock is not for your benefit."

The outrageous terms in Apple's iOS agreement undermine the rights of developers and the security of their users. Apple should rewrite these terms to respect the developers and users that make the platform so popular.

Currently, Apple's terms:

Ban iOS developers from ever speaking about the developer agreement.

Ban iOS developers from jailbreaking an Apple device, or even enabling others to do so.

Require Apple to approve every security update, which means that unaddressed security bugs could linger and leave users at risk.

Wrap every app in the Apple store with unnecessary DRM, which limits what users can do with their apps even if the code is published as free software.

Developers shouldn't have to sacrifice their rights to speak and innovate freely just to bring their applications to millions of Apple users. Amend your terms to respect free speech, security, and innovation.

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[Rainey Reitman/EFF]